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A Matter of Trust in a Partnership: A story of Fiona Darling Seven Keys Horsemanship & her Annie

Updated: Aug 24

It is a great compliment to you if your horse is happy for you to approach them while they are lying down.

When communication, understanding, trust and respect are in place our horses can really become our willing, trusting partners.

Asking, not making, your horse to lie down is one test of this partnership. Liberty play is another.

Two occasions for me really stand out as examples of this.

One morning during a camp while offering Annie some grazing time out of her overnight yard before class was to start she lay down beside me and fell asleep for 20 minutes or so. I was happy to be the horse standing guard for her. I look back on this as being very special however at the time I had mixed emotions with on the one hand feeling what a massive compliment she was paying me in the relationship we shared but on the other hand somewhat concerned that all was well with her after coming out of the yard.

On another occasion I had taken Annie to the Sydney International Equestrian Centre for the Celebrational return of Pat and Linda Parelli with one of their horses called River to Australia. It had been a massive sell out event with an amazing energy from the audience. On the last afternoon a group of us Instructors were sitting on the grass together reflecting on our time together over the event, our legs outstretched. I had brought Annie along with me to have a graze out of the stables while we gathered. Seeing us all sitting down on the grass relaxing and chatting Annie decided to join us and lay down beside me. A great feeling for me that she felt OK to do that and an indication I guess of how tired she was also! At the time I wished there was a camera handy to record it but I chose just to savour it and keep it in my memory as a treasured time with my Annie.

Instead of having this photo I have included a slide show of my beautiful Annie from a few years ago now, while at a camp held by Kaye Thomas with Adrian Heinen from Switzerland as the visiting overseas Instructor. Photos kindly taken by Sue Evans from the UK.















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